Friday, 8 January 2010

Friday 8 January 2010 – 154 DAYS TO THE WORLD CUP

The group generally regarded as this tournament’s group of death is Group G. This is Brazil’s group but also home to Portugal, the Ivory Coast and North Korea.

As ever Brazil are most people’s default favourite to win the competition, the champion of the casual supporter and the nation to back if you want a slumdog millionaire rags to riches experience. Perhaps these people would also prefer that their games take place on a beach.

I’m sorry but I can’t fucking stand Brazil. Here is a footballing nation that quite frankly larges it far too much but regularly fails to deliver on their promises. It is perhaps wickedly fortuitous that Brazil are grouped with the nation that handed them their native tongue. If you are Brazilian its gotta hurt that you have to speak Portuguese and not a language of your own making.

That said I have to say that I am far from a fan of Portugal as memories of their defeating England at Euro 2004 and World Cup 2006 still cut deep, particularly the infamous World Cup encounter that featured Ronaldo’s infamous wink as he served to get Wayne Rooney sent off. In my opinion the English footballing nation should never have forgiven him for this, these his true colours that once again came into play when he acted like a common prostitute going to Real Madrid. An ageing side now and perhaps past their best Portugal are far from a one player team though and their final group match against Brazil on 25 June should prove to me one of the most anticipated (and potentially best) games of the group round.

Perhaps the really exciting element of this group comes in the form of the Ivory Coast. In the Ivory Coast there is actually such a thing as Drogba Village and away from the language bitch fight between the “footballing superpowers” noted above there is an actual hope that the Ivory Coast just might be able to cut through the nonsense and tear the group apart. There is a risk that the Ivory Coast may be a one player team and with that the more cynical of tactics may be to take that part out but given room to breathe the Ivory Coast’s participation in this tournament should be an exciting one. They open against Portugal on 15 June.

Making up the numbers is North Korea who you feel may be fortunate to get through (out of) the group/tournament without conceding into double figures. With a poor reputation as nation off the back of Team America: World Police these are shady figures not renowned for their shooting ability on the pitch.

This group is very much a villains affair comprising of teams and individuals looking for redemption akin to Harvey Keitel’s character in the Bad Lieutenant.

Perhaps the real big question surrounding Portugal is whether they will have Quim in the squad.

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